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What makes a great SE

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Riddick, May 11, 2007.

  1. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    Start by saying, I hate Kobe Bryant. But I feel like I'm the Kobe Bryant (I know it's a stretch) of my sports staff. I've received numerous writing awards, including an APSE last year. Me. Me. Me.
    But I don't feel as though I'm making my team better.
    What makes a great SE? What things should I be doing to make my section and my staff reach their full potential?
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Share the rock.
  3. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    You could start with a little less ME ME ME.

    Your APSE has established your greatness, now get over it.
    Maybe it's time to work with whatever staff you have about what they're doing and what your aims for the department and section are.
  4. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    Dude, I'm over it. That's why I'm asking for help here. I added the ME, ME, ME more as an example of how much I hate Kobe than how I see myself.
    I won't the sports section to win a Triple Crown. I want my staff to take things to the next level.
    Just struggling with a way to do it.
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Seriously, maybe you have to layout specific goals for the department in general and each guy in particular. Who does what best? Who needs to pick it up a little here and there? What are out strengths that we should build on, our weaknesses that we need to work on?

    This is where we want to go as a department, as a section ... let's work on the way, among all of us, to get there.
  6. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    Thanks. That's very helpful.
  7. EE94

    EE94 Guest

    Be inclusive.
    If you can manage it, take your staff - or if its large, a representative group - and go off-site for brainstorm, chin-wag session.
    Put all things on the table - what do we do right, what do we do wrong, what should we be doing.
    You'll be surprised at problems you didn't know existed, and with solutions that are offered.
    Then, like Spirited said, figure out some projects and other things your department can work on.
    Warning - go into a meeting like that with an agenda and run it like a meeting chairman. Dont do all the talking. Let the others talk. Take notes.
    Come to some consensus. Don't leave without specific goals or whatever laid out.
    And don't include alchohol. (though offering to buy a round afterward is always good. Be amazed at how much goodwill a beer buys.)
    I've done a few. Got a hotel room - one of those mini-conference rooms, ordered in morning coffee and lunch, and about nine of us did about nine hours.
    Was good on many levels.
  8. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Fight for your guys.

    If you have my back, I will run through the proverbial brick wall for you.
  9. SixToe

    SixToe Well-Known Member

    Where applicable, definitely do this and let your staff know.

    Holing up in an off-site location for a pow-wow is a good idea, too, as long as the discussion doesn't become a bitch session and you can all leave with constructive ideas.
  10. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Spirited is on to something.

    Anyway, don't ask me, I've been sitting in this seat for about 10 months and I don't think I really felt like the SE untl the last few weeks.

    But I do think the fact you're asking the question is a very good sign.

    I'm lucky to have good writers on staff so I don't have the pressure to overwork myself on that side. I can spend more time as a manager, and tackling longer term planning issues.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    The most respected and successful sports editors are confident in their abilities and give opportunities to their employees and groom them for better things.
  12. Walter Burns

    Walter Burns Member

    I've been a sports editor for nearly two years now. This is what I try to do:
    1. Let my reporters do their jobs. Deflect any shit from above so they can do their thing.
    2. Try not to micromanage too much. I have a staff of one writer, and I told him that as long as he keeps generating copy and puts in his 40 a week, I don't care if it's here or at home.
    3. Go beyond gamers. You can get a trained monkey to write gamers. What makes a sports section stand out is enterprise, features, columns, the stuff that people can't get anywhere else.
    That's what I try to do. Our jobs are supposed to be fun, and I know that if the people who work for me are having fun, they'll be better.
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